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No doubt about it, styling a coffee table can feel tricky. And if you have a toddler, it’s an exercise in futility. Believe me, I know this. My youngest recently turned 3, and we are officially past the grabby-grab stage, and I am thrilled to announce that I have re-entered the blessed land of coffee table styling!
I’ll admit that this may not be an exciting milestone for everyone, but it is for me. So much so that for Mother’s Day I ordered myself a flurry of new coffee table books. This is how you spend your money when you’re 37.
I think I’ve got a whole other post in me with coffee table styling how-tos, but elements that always seem to work – a plant, an interesting object, a candle, coasters, a tray, and of course (the reason why we’re all here) the coffee table book.
It’s named a coffee table book because that’s exactly what it’s for. Too beautiful to be relegated to spine-only display on a bookshelf, one or a stack of these beautiful books help anchor any other decorative accessories. Bonus: it gives people something to thumb through when they’re at your house should there ever be an awkward silence if you have to step away to deal with a kid or take a phone call. I also like it personally, because I can reach for a book (instead of my phone) when I have a few minutes and want to look at something interesting rather than stare at the wall.
Not all books are up to the challenge of being a Coffee Table Book though. I have some very stringent criteria.
MY VERY PARTICULAR COFFEE TABLE BOOK CRITERIA
Must have a beautiful cover.
Must actually be interesting to flip through – the pictures inside need to be lovely too, because it’s nice to flip the book open to the inside pages and style it that way.
Must be a good size. That doesn’t mean it has to be giant (though a giant one is always nice). Larger and smaller ones are nice to stack.
I’m so particular about this that we’ve taken to ordering coffee table books for our clients and/or bringing our own books on photoshoot days! It makes such a difference. And often once they see their spaces styled with these they will run online and order them to keep!
Since I cannot come and style each one of your tables, I’ve rounded up some of my favorites! I’ll admit these lean pretty heavy into the world of design, but there’s a mix in here!
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Four and Five are also in the same genre. I’m fully obsessed with all things Wes Anderson (in fact, my master bathroom design was inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel!). The color palettes are nothing short of perfection.
Six is pink, so really that’s all I needed to know. I’m not hugely into fashion BUT I appreciate color and texture when I see it.
Seven is about this beautiful blend of classic Americana and modern style. It feels like if you took summer camp + all the best finds from your grandma’s house and put them together in the very best way that feels youthful and modern.
Ten and Eleven are about creating a home that is in tune with and supports you in your faith, which is a concept I hold pretty dear. They are written by Catholic writers, but you don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate and apply the principles.
Twelve could be defined as an interior home styling bible. It’s an awesome resource that will inspire you to rearrange your doo-dads.
Fifteen is one I discovered because so many of our clients already had this book. I was floored to learn that GW could paint portraits! The images and stories are phenomenal. If you like to watch soldiers coming home videos on YouTube, you’ll love this.
What are some of your favorites?! I could very much see a Part 2 of this post in our future! Drop your favorite coffee table books in the comments!